By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
ENTERPRISE – Hunter McQuary entered Saturday’s Class 1A playoff game against Tremont disappointed with himself.
After going 0-for-4 in Friday’s 6-0 Game 1 victory at Tremont, the West Union senior made sure his team would score more than six runs during Game 2.
McQuary blasted two home runs – a grand slam and a three-run shot – and added a two-RBI double for a total of nine RBIs in West Union’s 15-1 five inning victory over Tremont to win the first-round series, 2-0.
“Hunter’s played well for us for five years,” West Union coach Ashley Russell said, “He struggled yesterday but came back with a good approach today.”
McQuary’s grand slam capped a six-run second inning for the home-standing Eagles, who also scored on RBI singles by Tyler Wooley and Will Basil in the frame.
The next inning, McQuary’s three-run homer to nearly the exact same spot behind the right-centerfield fence chased Tremont starter Cody North (3-3) and put West Union up 11-1.
“The first home run I hit it was a fastball and I was waiting on it,” the left-handed slugger said, “The second at bat it was a curveball and it just spun.”
The Eagles (13-10), who advance to face Biggersville in the second round, put the game away with a four-run fourth capped by McQuary’s 2-RBI opposite field double.
West Union also scored on RBI singles by Chase Bogue in the third and Drew Garrett in the fourth.
The 15-run barrage by West Union was more than enough for starter Joey Dillard (3-4), who pitched the first four innings before giving way to Basil who pitched a 1-2-3 fifth.
For Tremont coach Jamie Edwards, whose team made its first playoff appearance since 1979 and recorded its second straight winning season (10-7), the effort was there the entire season.
“We’ve just tried to get them into baseball shape,” the second-year coach said. “They believed in themselves and worked hard every single day.”
Tremont scored its lone run in the third inning on a RBI single by Austin Todd.